Samar Rep. Edgar Sarmiento said regulators must provide equal opportunities to all motorcycle taxi providers to avoid creating a monopoly or duopoly that will only bring harm to the riding public.
“We need public transportation especially during these times… I hope that all applications by all motorcycle taxis we use now will be considered,” said Sarmiento, chair of the House committee on transportation, said.
Sarmiento made the statement in response to a decision by a technical working group created by the Department of Transportation permanently revoking a partnership between motorcycle taxi firm Move It and ride-hailing giant Grab.
The partnership allows users of Grab’s app to tap Move It’s services. To jumpstart the tandem’s service, Grab offered its riders 1,000 free rides per day for one week. The TWG shut down the partnership last September after only one week’s operation despite the benefit to the public.
The working group’s action left just JoyRide and Angkas as the only two ride-hailing firms allowed to join the government’s motorcycle taxi pilot study. Move It is an insignificant player in the pilot, hence its decision to partner with Grab.
Sarmiento said the TWG decision was not in line with conclusions reached by the House transport committee’s own technical working group.
“We studied this proposed law on motorcycle taxis, and it is clear that the goal is fair competition. No one should be favored. The platform that will be used online won’t just be the platform of a chosen one,” he said.
He added: “We are applying the equality clause of the Constitution.”
Move It, in public statement, slammed the TWG decision, saying the partnership went through several rounds of discussions with the transportation department’s technical working group and addressed all concerns.